XIV: Beware the Communist Menace! Causes of the Soviet War Declaration
Call Kenny Loggins, you're in the DANGER ZONE...
- Dec 5, 2008
XIV: Beware the Communist Menace!
Causes of the Soviet Declaration of War
It has become something of a truism that Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union would, eventually, fight an existential war with one another; that the government ideologies of Fascism and Communism were diametrically opposed and a struggle for supremacy was the only possible outcome. This understanding comes from the focus from Hitler’s book Mein Kampf, and post-war revisionism out of both the Reichstag and Kremlin. Roots of this conflict extend to before the Great War: the unification of Germany and its rapid industrialization combined with the fall of the Bismarckian system of reinsurance to isolate France had caused Russian paranoia vis a vis Germany. These problems were only reinforced by the Great War: now the conflict in ideology spiced the tension between the two powers. The only control of this tension was the threat of a two-front war for Germany.
A two-front war had tempered Germany: the feeling of encirclement which the Germans termed einkreisung, was only felt amongst Berlin, and the sentiment was heightened by their loss in the First World War. By the mid-to-late thirties, this sentiment was only enhanced: while before the Great War, Germany had notional allies in the massive paper-tigers of the Austro-Hungarian and Ottoman Empires, by 1936, Germany only had Italy. The walls were pressing in on Berlin through einkreisung. On the part of Moscow, losses in both the Great War as well as during the early interbellum period combined with their failure to rise to the occasion when attempting to confront Finland caused a distinct sentiment of being unable to tolerate another diplomatic setback, much the same predicament that Nicholas II had found himself in just before the June Crisis.
Germany had worked hard to counter their einkreisung: first gaining Italy and later Hungary as continental allies and managing to expand relatively peacefully through the Anschluss, Treaty of Munich and the subsequent occupation of Bohemia and Moravia, then accepting Japan into the Anti-COMINTERN Pact internationally. A major coup was the destabilization of France, first through the subversion of their political foundations and from there to the acceptance into the Pact. All of the dreams of the pre-Great War Septemberprogramm (September Program) were coming to fruition: a dream of Mitteleuropa, a German-led hegemony over the continent.
Stalin had watched Germany’s rise for some time: he understood that the West appeared to be tottering towards a Capitalist war. He would have preferred to allow the Capitalists to bleed themselves white before picking up the pieces; Stalin certainly feared facing Hitler’s resurgent Germany alone. The West’s failure to engage combined with Germany’s approaches to secure their western flank convinced Stalin that he had to work with his own national interest. This resolve, however, faltered with the compromise of the French, and thus began making preparations to oppose the Germans, but he had not counted on the Royal Navy--and by extension, the entire British Empire--being wiped out.
On the other hand, Stalin knew that the days of the Germans providing military supplies in exchange for the Soviet resources were coming to an end. Already, several missed shipments had been conveniently overlooked by the Kremlin, but the balance of trade was becoming something that the Soviets could not abide. This was in part because of how hot the economy had been run for nearly a year: Schact’s ploy with the MEFO bills had not yet made it back to the coop, but could be heard clucking at the gates. Some research indicates that this was Goering’s doing: by going behind Speer’s back to wreck agreements which had kept the German war machine rolling, he might spark the war in which Goering was confident would bring him back into the Fuhrer’s full confidence. Unrelated to Germany specifically, but directly related to their alliance, the Bulgarians were becoming too cozy with the Italians: Bulgarian demands had already been satisfied against the Romanians, but Italy held territories which had been Bulgarian before the League of Nations had resolved them to Greece’s benefit in the Treaty of Neuilly-sur-Seine. In negotiations with the Italians, the Bulgarians would accede to the Anti-COMINTERN Pact, in exchange for the territories of Western Thrace. The Soviet Union was furious: their view was that Bulgaria would be in their diplomatic orbit, despite the autocratic absolute monarchy in Sofia.
I find this simply a function of me needing to get back onto my Midnight shift schedule, being able to catch this as it happens!One last post you say?
Verily.I can see how such a baffling impossibility would indeed cause problems. Wehraboo unreality and contempt for logistics is indeed amongst the most fierce of all the fictional opponents.
I've poked it with the bayonet so many times that it is basically at the end of Death by A Thousand Cuts.[/I][/I]There was a brief phase of that. Now it is just fascination to see just how badly someone can bully an AI and amazement at the logical contortions invoked to try (and admittedly fail) to justify the impossible.